Chris Hardwick's roles as both host of Talking Dead and Talking With Chris Hardwick have been reinstated by AMC a month after the actor was accused of sexual misconduct. While his ex-girlfriend, Chloe Dykstra, did not name Hardwick in her essay about a sexually abusive relationship, readers pieced together the details. Hardwick denied the accusations shortly after the essay went viral, saying that "at no time did I sexually assault" Dykstra, but AMC announced they would hold episodes of his shows pending an investigation. That investigation is now complete.
“Following a comprehensive assessment by AMC, working with Ivy Kagan Bierman of the firm Loeb & Loeb, who has considerable experience in this area, Chris Hardwick will return to AMC as the host of Talking Dead and Talking with Chris Hardwick," the network said in a statement to Refinery29. "We take these matters very seriously and given the information available to us after a very careful review, including interviews with numerous individuals, we believe returning Chris to work is the appropriate step."
Hardwick will return to Talking Dead for its August 12 premiere. Yvette Nicole Brown, who stepped in during the investigation, will continue as interim guest host of The Walking Dead Season 9 Preview Special on August 5. She will also be a guest on the Talking Dead premiere.
Nerdist, the pop culture website founded by Hardwick, remains separated from the actor. In a statement following the initial allegations, the company clarified that Hardwick "had no operational involvement with Nerdist for the two years preceding the expiration of his contract in December 2017." They also removed his name from the website.
Refinery29 has reached out to Hardwick, Dykstra, and Nerdist editor-in-chief Rachel Heine for comment and will update if we hear back.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).